Have you ever been listening to the radio or watching television when an egghead or brainiac starts talking about the great new technology product that his/her company has developed? Did you keep listening, or did the featured egghead get bogged down in too many complicated scientific big words and concepts making you change the channel as fast as possible. You know you may have just missed out on finding out about a great new product or service that could save you thousands of dollars or extend your life by 100 years. But you and the thousands of other potential customers and clients will never know because you changed the channel.It is important to recognise that scientists, lawyers, engineers and technologists don't always make the best spokesperson for the promotion of a product in the media. A good technical communicator will be able to cut through jargon and explain in simple terms, concepts important to promoting a product. Many science and technology companies send a press release before they prepare their strategy for an effective media campaign. There are 3 main mistakes that companies make when approaching the media to promote a new scientific or technical product or service.Mistake #1 - Using complicated Scientific Jargon and conceptsMistake #2 - Failing to prepare a technical sales communication planMistake #3 - Using only one media channel to promote the product or serviceAvoid Using Complicated Scientific Jargon & ConceptsYour potential customer or client needs to be able to understand quickly what the product or service is, and how it will benefit them. No point showing up for your media opportunity and losing everyone on your first sentence. For example, if you are a company who has developed a new water filter for use in the home, don't lead with technical information like this;
"The new water micro-filtration system has a 1 micron sediment pre-filter in a superfine polypropylene cartridge and a 0.4 micron carbon super block, superior post-filter with heavy metal removal technology."While this technical description might be important to the functioning of the product or create a point of difference, this information does not help your target customer make an informed choice about the product and how it relates to them. Instead, you should use uncomplicated words and refer to concepts which are aimed towards your target customer's level of understanding. For example;"Our new in-home water filter will give you unlimited clean and clear water guarding your family against all kinds of bacterial and chemical contamination."To provide the best chance that media will pick up your press release, you need to be able to share information about the benefits of filtering your water and provide some education for viewers or listeners about common contaminants in unfiltered water.Effective Technical Communication relies on PlanningBefore you can address the last two mistakes that I have listed, it is essential to identify a good technical communicator either inside or outside your company. Engaging a specialist technical communications consultant is both efficient and cost effective. Your specialist consultant can also assist in other areas by working with you to prepare an integrated scientific and technical sales, communication and promotions plan and provide training and education for your scientists on effective communication techniques for writing and the media.